Potential treatment for persistent back pain with Spinal Cord Stimulator
Those suffering from persistent back pain have a possible solution to look forward to:
CBS News profiled spinal cord stimulation Dec. 4, 2015 as a potential treatment for persistent back pain, sciatica, or neuropathic pain that has failed other treatment modalities.
The segment featured the story of Miguel Hall, and how spinal cord stimulation resolved the back pain that had sent him into deep depression. Ashraf Hanna, board-certified physician and director of pain management at the Florida Spine Institute in Clearwater, treated the Hall with the modality.
“I have been performing the spinal cord stimulator implant procedure for 20 years at the Florida Spine Institute, and the technology is constantly improving,” stated Hanna. “In general, our goal is to reduce the patient’s pain medication and increase function. The beauty of this procedure is pain relief from using simple electrical stimulation. The spinal cord stimulator implant is a very cutting-edge treatment that has helped many patients by basically using a small, implantable device to replace pain with a more pleasant sensation.”
The patient is first fitted with a five-day trial device to test effectiveness, Hanna said. Wires are inserted through needles and connected to an external pager-size device. The patient wears the stimulator for 5 days while doing everyday activities.
“If they experience 50-60% pain improvement, then we have a reasonable candidate for the permanent implant,” he said. “Within a few weeks, we implant the stimulator under the skin including the small device, wires, and a small battery. The patient has an external controller that can be used to dial in the best programmable profile. We are able to reduce pain levels dramatically for many patients.”